Arizona’s Blood Alcohol Content Test

blood alcohol content testArizona is tough on those suspected of drinking and driving. DUI charges, whether they pertain to alcohol or drugs, are harsh. The legal blood alcohol limit in this state is .08%. If you are above that limit, you can be charged with DUI.

Arizona also has other BAC limits in place, put there to raise the level of the DUI charges. Anyone who has a BAC of .15% or above can face an Extreme DUI charge and those with a BAC of .20% or above can face Super Extreme DUI charges. The DUI penalties get harsher the higher a person’s blood alcohol content is.

But how do law enforcement officers determine a person’s blood alcohol content?

What are the tests and when can they legally require you to submit to them?

Today, we want to go over these questions so you have a better understanding of what can happen and how to defend yourself against certain charges.

Are These Tests Legal?

In order for a person to be charged and successfully convicted of a DUI charge, an officer must provide sufficient evidence to prove you were impaired. To do this, they can administer different tests. Before an arrest, these tests can include a series of field sobriety tests as well as a field breathalyzer test.

No, you do not have to submit to a BAC test if you have not been arrested. In fact, you should not do so. However, if you have been placed under arrest for suspicion of impaired driving, law enforcement has the right to compel you to submit to a BAC test.

  • Breathalyzer tests are perhaps the best known of all BAC tests. If an officer asks you to take a field breathalyzer test in the field, they are likely doing so before you are arrested because they are looking for evidence to place you under arrest. If you refuse this field breathalyzer test, your license will likely be immediately suspended for a year. If you are placed under arrest, law enforcement can compel you to submit to a BAC test. At the station, one of those options is a more complex breathalyzer machine.
  • Blood tests can also be used to determine a person’s level of intoxication as can urine tests. An officer can choose to use these tests instead of or in conjunction with a breathalyzer test and are more likely to be given if they suspect you are under the influence of drugs.

You can still face DUI charges if you are driving while impaired by drugs. While a breathalyzer test will not show anything if you have not been drinking, blood and urine tests can detect narcotics in your system. This can become complicated because the effects of a drug can be out of a person’s system long before they leave a person’s system.

What Happens Now?

If you have been arrested under suspicion of drinking and driving, you need to secure a qualified and skilled attorney who will vigorously defend the charges against you. Not only are you facing monetary penalties and possible jail time, but your reputation is on the line. A DUI conviction can negatively impact your career and your ability to get a job in the future. These convictions will show up on your background check for everyone to see. These charges are not something you want to try to defend on your own. A skilled DUI defense attorney will work to poke holes in the cases against you in order to get the charges dismissed or reduced.

Click here for information on stop and frisk constitutional rights in Arizona.